The Temptation of Jesus
In this chapter the devil is tempting Jesus. Jesus went into the wilderness to fast for forty days and nights. The devil tells him if he is the son of god he should turn the rocks into bread to eat. He responds by saying "man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of god"
I guess the message here is that the word of god is as important as food, even when starving. I do find it interesting that the temptation involves Jesus creating food to eat. Is there also a message here about abusing power? Would the story still work if he had come across some natural food in the wilderness? What if he came across something like manna, which is apparently from God?
Satan then takes him to a high spot and tells Jesus to jump to try and kill himself and god will have his angels save his life. Jesus says he will not put god to the test.
So we are not supposed to test God.
Satan then took Jesus to a high mountain to see "all the kingdoms of the world" and tells Jesus "All these I will give you if you fall down and worship me". Jesus replies that he will only worship God, and Satan leaves.
I guess the message here is to only worship God and no one else, even if you are promised good things. This is an odd temptation though. Jesus knows he is the son of God (If there was any doubt it should have been removed during the baptism last chapter), so why would he ever worship Satan?
Jesus Begins His Ministry
John was arrested so he started preaching in his place. He also traveled around which fulfilled some prophecy. He preached that "The kingdom of heaven is at hand"
The way this is written is strange. I can't help but feel there is something more here than I understand. It seems like there is some shoehorning in of prophecy stuff. Also, it sounds like Jesus is preaching doomsday stuff, shouldn't that fall flat 2000 years later. Do people instead interpret it to be talking about going to heaven after you die?
Jesus Calls the First Disciples
Jesus goes up to some fishermen and get them to quit what they are doing and follow him instead. Simon (who is called Peter), Andrew, James, and John.
Doesn't seem like there is much to see here, but I have a few comments. Why "Simon (who is called Peter)"? Why not just "Peter"?
Also, James and John left their father in the fishing boat to follow Jesus without a second thought apparently. "Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him". This seems like a bad thing to me.
Jesus Ministers to Great Crowds
Jesus went around preaching and healing, even people with demonic possession and paralysis. His fame grew far and wide